solid state amplifiers

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Acoustic (Amps)

Acoustic is an amplifier brand name of Acoustic Control Corporation of Thousand Oaks, California. The company was founded in the late 1960s by Steve Marks and his father - initially working out of a shack on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The company became known for its powerful Acoustic 361 bass stack, Acoustic became a popular bass amp brand in the 1970s and 1980s as larger venues demanded amps with more power. The majority were solid state amplifiers but there were a few tube amps as well. Acoustic Control Corporation went out of business in the 1980s, but returned in 2007.

Source: Acoustic Amplification website (13 May 2022)


Trickfish Amplification was founded in 2014 by Richard Ruse. Ruse has previously worked for  SWR Engineering, KRK Systems and JBL Professional. Ruse was joined by designer Mike Pope and his business partner David Yates who worked on the electrical engineering side. The acoustical team was made up of Ruse and systems Engineer Anthony Fregoso, another ex-employee of JBL Professional. Trickfish specialises in amplifiers. preamps and cabinets for bass players

Source: Trickfish Amplification website (5 May 2022)


Tagus solid-state amplifiers and cabinets were made for a couple of years from around 1973 to 1974 by PAS Electronics Ind, in Toronto, Ontario. They had a distinctive blue Tolex covering and were distributed by B&J.

Source: Tagus catalog 1974


Pro-formance was a brand name of the Scottish Musical Instrument Retailers Association, used between 2004 and 2014 for electronic tuners; cables, microphones, amplifiers; public address systems; headphones, Bags, stands and carry cases.

Blue Rock

Blue Rock is an affordable amplifier brand, made in China and distributed in the UK. Typically these are solid state practice amplifiers for bass or guitar. The brand was launched in 2005 by Kencraft Ltd of Cardiff, UK - owner of the Hudson, Black Mountain and Black Mamba brand names. Kencraft Limited was associated with Cranes Music Shops of South Wales, UK and their house brands were originally set up by George Ösztreicher an original founder of the Tanglewood Guitar Company and a director of Kay (Guitars) the USA based manufacturer and distributor. This brand was discontinued before 2015.


Valeton is a Chinese effects pedal brand. The team behind Valeton had been producing designing and building products for other brands for 10 years before coming together as a single company, with a new catalogue of original designs. The range  includes affordable effects pedals, multi-fx processors and amplifiers.

Source: Valeton website (14 March 2022)


Nobels is a German guitar effects and audio electronics company founded in 1985 by Bernhard Kurzke. During the 1990s they developed an affordable range of effects pedals, plus programmable multi-effects, MIDI foot controllers, good-sounding practice amps and “Little Helpers” (small inexpensive splitters, A / B switches, loop-in paths, MIDI switchers, DI boxes for the pedalboard). The first effects pedal series was made from 1993 to 20003. They have also made OEM effects pedals for other brands - e.g. the Washburn Rhino pedals were made by Nobels. Circa 2022 their range is focused on their successful Nobels ODR-1 overdrive pedal, available in standard, mini and software-plugin form.

Source: Nobels website (25 March 2022)


Chord is a brand name of UK consumer electronics & musical instrument distributor AVSL Group. Launched in 2010, the Chord music brand covers everything from guitars and percussion to amplifiers and stands, with a multitude of accessories such as cases and covers, tuners, pick-ups and metronomes.

Source: Chord website (14 March 2022)


ASI was a brand name of Audio Sound International - a company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They sold amplifiers and Sustainiac electric guitars (made in Korea, Taiwan & Japan) equipped with the Sustainiac sustainer pickup system. The Sustainiac pickup was developed in the late 1980s by Maniac Music Inc. of Indianapolis.

Source: Maniac Music website (17 February 2022)


Radial Engineering was founded in 1996 by Peter Janis. Janis had a background in music and pro audio industry having worked for TMI for 10 years before starting his own company. He took over Canadian cable company, Cabletek in 1991 and renamed it JP Cabletek Electronics Ltd. in 1992. JP Cabletek imported various brands including Presonus, Audix Microphones, Hafler, Microtech Gefell, Mogami cables, Jensen Transformers and Sonex acoustical products. Over the next few years the company grew to making custom snakes while Janis decided to expand globally. He chose a company name that could be easily translated into many languages (Radial Engineering) and a logo that represents the inside of a quad cable, in 1996 he launched the first Radial product, the Radial JDI. In 2022 Radial employed over 100 people and produced a range of pro-audio gear including: direct boxes, splitters and audio interfacing devices.


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